This is part 5 of a 12 part vampire serial story by Cassie Carnage, “Addicted to the Abyss.”
You can read Part 6 here: http://www.bloodywhisper.com/addicted-to-the-abyss-part-6-undead-lab-rat-in-a-cage/
Will Mallory survive when Jonah blacks out and attacks him? Or will Jonah kill him before he learns anything about himself, or the man he called to help him?
Mallory was underneath me, grunting in pain.
“Have another one. You like it,” I said. It’s my voice, but it’s not really MY voice. It doesn’t sound right.
“No,” he said through gritted teeth. “I don’t.”
“You said you’d occupy me for a while. So occupy me.” I shoved another pairing knife into his hand. It looked like a pincushion made with thin bladed pairing knives. I kept stabbing them into his flesh, just deep enough so that they would stand up on their own. It amused me.
There were bigger blades were scattered all around us on the floor.
I had plans for those.
“Stop. You don’t want to do this.”
I looked at my hand. It was covered in a slick glove of his red, red blood. Liquid velvet. Sweet like fire. I took another sip from the glass. It’s two-thirds of the way full now. I bled him out, like a keg of beer, except it wasn’t beer, because he’s human.
Not like me at all.
Just a man. A fragile sack of meat and bone. A canteen of blood, just for me.
I laughed. “You’re a canteen.”
He stared at me in horror. It made me smile wider. My teeth were so sharp, they effortless bit into my lower lip, and I didn’t care. I could bite him. Make him moan under my lips and teeth. Under me.
A wisp of a memory floats to the surface. He moaned under me once. Both of us naked. Sweating. Writhing. Limbs entwined. Hips thrusting. Shoving into him faster and faster until the sweet, sweet release. It felt so good.
But that was a long time ago. I can’t do things like that anymore. Not really. Didn’t have the urges. Didn’t even care about that. Why was I remembering it now?
What was I doing again? Oh. That’s right.
So many knives. So little time. But if I use them all I’d kill him. I had to save some for later.
I stood up and Mallory curled up around his poor pincushion hand. All the little paring knives were stabbed through his palm in a little cluster of plastic handles. Red and blue and green and white and yellow. All together like pick up sticks or sparklers.
“I had sparklers once. During the fourth of July. I waved them around and they sparkled and spit colored fire everywhere and landed on people and the ground, and clothes and the dog and then he beat me for it. He beat me. I think he was my dad. Or step-dad. Or maybe my mom’s boyfriend or something.”
“That is a horrible memory.”
I shrugged. “It won’t be around for long. There’s plenty I’ll never remember. Plenty I forget as soon as I recall them. It’s just the way it is now.”
I drank the rest of his blood, emptied the glass. Then picked up a nasty looking carving knife and looked down at him. He grimaced in pain and curled up like a fetus around his poor bloodied hand.
“No more. Please. You’ve had enough.”
“You know, you’re right. This job is hazardous to your health.” I crouched down in front of him and twanged the tip of the blade with a finger. “Good thing you got insurance, huh?”
Crying. Always crying. Why the fuck do you always cry you little piece of shit? Fists come down on me like baseball-sized hail. He smelled like liquor. Like booze. Like pain. I hated him. I HATED him! That’s why I ran away. That’s why. Bastard.
Did I go back for him? After I died and became this way? Did I kill that sick fuck? If I did, did I do it for the satisfaction of it? For revenge? Would I even remember it if I did?
“Tell me about your father.” I knelt beside him, grabbed his hair and pulled his head up while holding the knife point just inches from his eye. “Tell me about him.”
He pulled his head back away from the blade, and I let him. If I hurt him too much he’d scream and then he wouldn’t be able to talk to me. I liked talking to him. He listened. No one else listened. No one.
“My father?” he asked, his voice light and airy.
“Yeah. Your dad. Tell me about him. Go on. Do it.”
“Let go of me first.”
He nodded. I let go of his head and kneeled on his shins. They’re bony but I don’t care.
He sat up slowly, and I saw that there was another knife in the center of that pairing blade pincushion. A long, gently curved fish filleting knife. It had gone through his hand and into the floor. He couldn’t raise his hand without sliding it further up on the blade. So he kept it down on the floor.
“My father was a good man. He meant well, and worked long hard hours. But he was never really there for me. Or my mom.”
“What happened to your mom?” I asked. Don’t know why I did that, but I did.
“She died in a car accident. Drunk driver did her in,” he said.
His words sounded hollow, haunted, like he had carried the weight of her death for a very long time.
“Who was it? Who killed her?”
“My dad. He died too. Drove right into her car. Swerved into the opposite lane, head-on collision.”
For some reason, it made me incredibly sad to hear that. I didn’t even know his parents. But, still. It meant that he was alone. Just like I was. Just like I had been for a very long time. Longer than I could even remember now. Or would be able to remember, later on.
“You used to being alone then?” I asked.
He was in so much pain. And I felt fantastic. That bothered me, now that I could think clearly again.
The empty glass on the floor had a thin residue of blood in it. His blood. I drank the whole thing. It felt good. Haven’t drunk my fill in a while. He was starving me. Making me beg for food. Making me wait and wait and wait for his blood. I was sick of it. It drove me mad. So I broke out. And now I was finally full.
My entire body was zinging. I felt ALIVE. Like I could do anything. Take on anyone. My soul and my mind were on fire. Burning so bright. Words and memories and feelings and scents and flavors, everything was racing through my mind at 1,000 miles per hour. It was beautiful. I loved it. And I knew…I knew that this was as good as it got. Once the buzz wore off. Once that high was over. I wouldn’t remember any of this. Hell, next time I might not even remember my own name, let alone who Mallory was.
Damn. I liked him. I asked him for help. He let me come here. Let me stay with him.
And what did I do? I hurt him. Bad.
He was just trying to help.
What was wrong with me? Why did I do that to him?
There were long thin cuts running up his arms. His shirt was ripped open. I bit him, almost took his left nipple clean off. But that didn’t strike me as funny now. Back when I did it, I laughed. He screamed in pain, a sharp high-pitched sound of agony and I laughed so hard that I couldn’t breathe. I had to compose myself before I drank from his wound. Before I grabbed a glass from the kitchen cupboard and filled it with his blood.
But now, I was just sad. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream.
I stood up. I was so angry. At myself, and at him, for letting me do that. Why did he let me do that to him? Doesn’t he care what happens to him? Doesn’t he know how dangerous I am?
Mallory shifted his weight and turned very slowly to face away from me. The way you would if you didn’t want an enraged dog to rip your throat out.
“Don’t ever offer to occupy my time again. Next time you do that, I might not be able to stop myself. Next time, I might wake up to find that I’ve turned you into hamburger. Understand?”
He nodded. Didn’t take his eyes off the floor the entire time I spoke. He was terrified. Cowed. A feeling of complete and utter submission came off him in invisible waves and hit me like a slap in the face. I could almost smell his fear. I could almost taste it on the air.
I moved the knives away from him, shoved them across the kitchen floor. They hit the walls and scattered in every direction.
“Why do you have so many knives? Are you stupid or something? Did you not think that I wouldn’t use them on you? Seriously Mallory, you should’ve prepped better. You should’ve made this place safe for you to keep me in. I’m nothing more than animal now. You know that right? Pretty soon, I won’t even be yelling at you, just growling and snarling and biting the shit out of you. Hey, I’m talking to you. Say something damn it!” I kicked his leg.
He grunted and sat there, staring at his hand like he was trying to figure out how to take the knives out as fast as possible, even though it would hurt to do it.
I sighed and wrapped my hand around all of them, and yanked them out in one sure motion. He screamed and curled up into a tight ball, cradled his hand to his chest. His blood flowed down it in rivulets. Such a waste. I did that.
I wasted him.
It made me sick to my stomach.
I tossed the knives in the kitchen sink. Disgusted.
What to do, what to do?
Let him die
Let him lay there and cry like the pussy he is
Eat him whole. Devour him, body and soul. Do it! Do it now!
“Shut up,” I muttered to the voices in my head. They were getting louder every day. They weren’t my thoughts. They were someone, or something else’s thoughts, being transmitted into my brain from somewhere nearby.
Paranoid, I looked around the apartment, out the security peephole, everywhere. There was no one else here. No one but myself, and Mallory. Just the two of us. No one else.
I sighed, licked his blood off my hands until they were clean. No sense wasting it. Then I figured out what to do with him.
“Looks like it’s my turn to patch you up,” I said, and grabbed the First Aid kit.
I wasn’t as good at it as he was. But I tried. Put those butterfly closures on the huge hole going through his hand, and wrapped it in gauze. Taped it on. Covered the bite wound on his chest too. And the cuts on his arms. Then I squatted on the floor next to him. Mallory just sat there, mute, pale-faced, wide-eyed, shivering uncontrollably. A puddle of urine formed beneath him on the floor. I could smell the ammonia. I smelled it before I knew that he had pissed himself.
He was scared. He was so scared he couldn’t think. Or maybe he was thinking. Thinking that he was in way over his head. That I’d kill him before he could save me. That maybe it wasn’t worth the pain, this love.
He’d be right though. I wasn’t worth the pain. I wasn’t worth the suffering. I wasn’t worthy of his love. I wasn’t. Not at all.
I picked him up and took him into the shower and rinsed him off. Poor thing. Most people did that when they were tortured. But I guess some do it afterwards? Was he in shock now? Wouldn’t know.
Maybe I did.
He was embarrassed and ashamed and in pain and I did this to him. I hurt him. I did it. It was all me.
I didn’t want to. Didn’t mean to. Couldn’t control myself. Didn’t even remember getting out of the restraints or the room or going to the kitchen and pulling out every single drawer and dumping them on the floor and then hitting him in the face with one as he walked in the front door. He dropped the bags he was carrying. Milk spilled on the floor. Shit. I needed to clean that up too.
“Why?” he whispered. “Why did you do that? Why are you doing this now? I don’t understand.”
“Hush. Let me help you.”
He was shivering uncontrollably. His teeth were starting to chatter. Wait…was the water too cold? I didn’t think it was but it’s all the way over on the coldest setting and I didn’t even notice. I turned the shower handle the other way and the bathroom began to steam up. Ah. It was ice-cold water. I remembered to turn it down after a second so that I didn’t burn him. I didn’t want to hurt him anymore tonight.
I didn’t want to hurt him ever again.
“Is that warm enough?” I asked.
I couldn’t stand to see him so upset. I couldn’t say anything to make it better. How could I? What could I possibly say? That I was sorry? How the hell would that make anything any better?
I took off his clothes, got him naked, and washed him off the best I could. I was clumsy about it, like I hadn’t used soap or shampoo in a very long time. I stood there staring at the shampoo bottle for a few minutes before I remembered that to open it you had to flip the top up. I shook my head, poured out what looked like enough and lathered his hair up. Then I realized that I should’ve taken the bandages off BEFORE starting the shower and soaping him up. I felt so stupid.
I rinsed the shampoo out, left him sitting in the tub, hugging his knees to his chest with the nice hot water pouring over him, and grabbed some scissors from the other room.
When I walked over and held them up, his eyes grew wide and he backed up until he ran into the shower wall and could do no further.
“No. No. No more. No! Please. No more!”
“Easy. Easy now. I need to cut off the gauze I taped around your hand. It’s getting all soapy and shit. That’s not good for wounds. Right?”
I gestured to his hand.
He blinked, like my words took a moment to register and then he nodded and held out his hand. I took it gently and cut off the gauze. I removed it from his arms and chest too.
“Don’t…don’t put soap in them. It’ll burn.”
“I’ll try not to.”
He nodded and let me finish washing him up.
“There’s hydrogen peroxide in the cabinet. Use that on my wounds.”
I opened the mirrored cabinet over the broken sink. I did that. I broke it with my bare hands. Slammed my fists down on it, slit my throat with a razor sharp shard of porcelain. I wanted to die. He wouldn’t let me. He sewed my neck back up. Restrained me. Cleaned up in here and covered the sharp broken off ends of the sink with masking tape.
“This one?” I held up the brown bottle.
He let me pour the strange fizzing stuff on him and I watched, mesmerized. I waited until it was done bubbling and rinsed him off. Then I wrapped him in a few towels, dried him off and redressed his wounds.
He just stood there in the bathroom, staring at the wall.
“Come on.” I gently pushed him by the shoulders. He stopped walking when his foot hit the wooden floor beyond the bathroom. I picked him up, he didn’t protest. He felt so light to me. Like I could carry him all day and not even get tired. I set him down on the couch, and pulled the thick comforter over him.
He was in so much pain. And so very tired. He was physically and emotionally drained. That much, I understood. And I knew that it was all my fault. All of it.
I mopped up the floor, swept up the mess from the spilled groceries. Put everything back in the drawers. Picked up as best as I could. The entire time he watched me move.
He said nothing.
I said nothing.
There was nothing I could say about this.
I was a monster. I wished he would accept it. I wasn’t human anymore. And I never would be, ever again.
I pulled a chair over from the kitchen table and turned it around. I straddled the seat, rested my arms over the back and just watched him. We stared at each other for a while, before he teared up and turned his back to me and started crying uncontrollably. The way I wished I could when I was angry and hurt and didn’t want to live anymore.
It made my chest ache, seeing him sob like that. He grabbed the back couch cushion and shoved it into his face and screamed into it.
It broke my heart. Shattered it into a million pieces. It felt like all those knives I had stabbed into him, were now lodged firmly in my chest.
The comforter fell to the floor. That’s when I saw that he was still naked. I forgot to get him clothes.
What the…How could I forget that?
I should do something. I should give him comfort. Did I even know how? Don’t know. Not sure. But I should try to do something. Anything was better than sitting here letting him cry like that.
I sat on the edge of the couch, slowly reached out a hand and put it on his back.
“Don’t touch me!” he screamed. “Leave me alone. Just…leave me alone.”
I pulled away and stood up.
I really fucked up this time. I really, really did.
I shoved my hands in my pants pockets. My clothes were soaking wet. Didn’t bother me. Didn’t feel the cold anymore. Hardly notice the heat, save that it made me move better.
“You’re lucky I didn’t kill you.”
Is that how I say it when I’m mad?
It hurt. His words hurt me. Something caught in my throat. I think it was sorrow. I shook my head. No point feeling that way. It’s not like I could cry anymore.
“I remember now. My name is Jonah,” I said and turn away from him to go pick up some things I missed that were still on the kitchen floor.
“What?” he asked and sat up. His face was red and blotchy, wet from crying.
“My name,” I said and bent down and starting throwing stray utensils in an open drawer. “It’s Jonah. Like you said.”
He stared at me. The words took a moment to sink in. His brain was slow from being worked up like that. He clutched a worn couch cushion to his chest and sighed.
“Jonah,” he said in a soft voice. “Such a nice name.”
“If you say so.”
He stood on shaking legs and shuffled over to me. His every step sounded painful. I straightened up. He stood there with the comforter wrapped around him. He looked like a caterpillar.
“I need painkillers.”
I nodded and looked around. In drawers, under things, until I found a bottle of aspirin.
“Is this okay?”
“It’ll have to do,” he said with a weary sigh.
He wanted something with more kick. I could tell.
“What you really need is morphine, or strong shit like codeine or something.”
He glared at me and held out a hand, the wounded one was gripping the comforter, holding it up.
“Give me the damned bottle Jonah.”
“Fine. Take it.” I shoved it into his hand. He couldn’t get the top off. Not while trying to hold the comforter up around his naked body. Not with his mutilated hand. The hand I turned into a pincushion with pairing knives.
I took it from him and opened it and poured out a good handful.
“How much you want?”
“The whole bottle,” he muttered.
“Uh, won’t that kill you?”
“Sarcasm. Learn it,” he said and grabbed almost half of the mound I poured out into my hands.
I put the rest in the bottle and set it on the counter.
“Sarcasm. Got it.”
He shuffled to the sink tossed the pills back in his mouth and drank water straight from the tap.
God this was pathetic. I need to do something. We need to get out of here. Before this place consumed us. Before I consumed us.
I wonder where my car ended up…
I looked around. It was about an hour before sun up. We had been at it most of the night. I had around forty minutes before the sun started to rise.
I threw on my boots and took his jacket without asking. He whirled around when he saw me putting on clothes.
“Where are you going?”
He sounded panicked. Scared. He knew he couldn’t do shit to stop me.
“Out. I’ll be back.”
I put my hands on his shoulders. “Just down the street. Got any cash?”
“You need something stronger than aspirin. Don’t tell me you don’t. And you need something to eat,” I said and pointed to his stomach. It had been growling for a few minutes now.
“I have cash in my wallet.”
I found his pants in the bathroom, pulled the wallet out, took the money out and paused. There’s a picture in it. It’s of him with a guy. They’re posed together on a bench in front of a fountain. It’s a nice, sunny day. Summer time. They look happy together. Bermuda shorts, flip flops, healthy tans, white tank tops with open Hawaiian shirts over it. The ones with the bright tropical floral prints. Mallory’s is blue, the other guy is wearing a red one.
Mallory has his arm around the guy like he owns him. Like guys do with their girlfriends when they pose for pictures. The man looks familiar. Have I seen him somewhere? Those hazel eyes. That trendy hair cut, light brown hair with dyed blonde highlights. His big smile. I knew that man.
Who was that?
Mallory popped up in the doorway. “You’re running out of night-time. You better hurry.”
I dropped his wallet and the picture. Not on purpose. I tried to act like I did though. I mean, why should I care if he sees me staring at a picture of him and his…
Wait. Was that me?
No. No way. That couldn’t have been me. Could it?
“Don’t be gone too long,” he said.
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll be back.”
“Don’t get lost. I mean it.”
“I won’t. I’ll be back before sunrise.”
I left. It was the first time I’d been out in months.
The night air smelled great.
We were in a city. It was fall.
Huh. I didn’t know that much time had passed. Last I remembered it was spring.
Dead leaves skittered across the street while more fell from the trees. I walked past people. Most didn’t even give me a second glance, if they bothered to look up while they walked. City people. Don’t ask, don’t look, don’t get involved. Rules of the concrete jungle.
There was a blue sign with an H and an arrow pointing down the road. I remembered that it meant that there was a hospital that way.
I followed the signs.
That guy, in the picture, he looked familiar. Couldn’t remember where I saw him though. His face nagged at me as I walked down the sidewalk. Maybe that was me. Maybe that’s what I looked like before IT happened.
I slipped in through the emergency room doors. I didn’t want to be noticed. No one did. Not when they were about to steal from a hospital. I fell silent. I didn’t even breathe. I willed myself invisible to them, and no one saw me. People looked right through me. Every once in a while someone stepped out of my way or shivered as I passed by, but no one said a word.
I followed the signs and eventually I found what I was looking for, the nurse’s station with the medicine cabinets or the drug supply case. Whatever they call it. That’s what it was.
I took a box of syringes, one of those red plastic things you’re supposed to put them in when they’re used, and shoved them in my jacket pockets. Then I grabbed an empty box from the top of the garbage and shoveled as many little tiny vials of morphine in them as I could. I took gauze, bandages, even antibiotics. I also nabbed two big bottles of codeine, shoved them in the box and closed it up. Then I walked away like I knew where I was going. Like I belonged there. Like I was just doing my job.
“Hey! Hey you!”
I turned around.
An orderly glared at me. “Help me with this will you?”
His hands were full and a food tray was about to fall off his cart. I pushed it back up.
I slipped out of there. Ran across the street, down the block, back to his apartment. It was easy. I just followed his scent. I knew where he lived from his smell. I stopped at the front door. Damn it. I forgot. He needed food.
I looked up at the sky. Almost out of time. I could feel the night starting to end. The sky hadn’t quite begun to light up yet. But it would, and soon. Daylight scared me. I couldn’t remember exactly why, but it did. I needed to make this quick.
I rushed over to the convenient store at the end of the block. I grabbed frozen dinners and an armful of junk food. I tossed them on the counter. The girl at the register seems unfazed by me. She rang me up, slowly.
“Hurry up,” I growled.
She raised an eyebrow but didn’t move any faster. I was getting antsy. The sun was starting to rise. I needed to get back, get indoors before the sun warmed up the world.
“That’s thirty-six seventy-five.”
I threw the money at her, snatched the bags and headed for the door.
“Have a nice day asshole!”
I smiled and waved, and ran right into someone walking into the store. He smelled like wet dog. The girl next to him smelled like a cat in heat. The other guy behind them smelled like he just got done having sex with a goat. The guy I ran into looked like he was about to kick my ass. He was twice my size. But I didn’t care. I had to get back to Mallory. Fast.
I stared the guy down. Gave him the meanest look I could muster and his eyes widened. The hairs on his massive muscular arms stood up, and he backed away, put his hands up and stepped to the side.
“Hey, sorry about that man,” he said.
“Get out of my way,” I said and shoved passed them.
“Jesus H. Christ. Did you get a look at that guy?” The girl asked her two friends.
“Yeah. Creepy. Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Creepy. I’ll give them creepy. They’ll drop a load. That’s how creepy I’ll get.
I rushed back and ran up the stairs and into his apartment and slammed the door behind me. The sun was just starting to rise. But I made it back in time. And that is all that mattered.
I leaned against the door for the moment in relief and sighed. I made it.
“Hey I’m back. Hey Mallory? I got you food.” I knew he was there. I could smell him. “Mal?”
I put the food on the counter and walked down the small hallway. He was in the bathroom, huddled over the picture, the one from his wallet. He was crying as soft as he possibly could. Like he didn’t want to be heard.
He didn’t look up when I softly knocked on the door and stepped in.
“Mal, I got you some food and medicine.”
“Hey,” I said crouched down in front of him. “Who’s the guy in the picture there with you? He looks familiar. Do I know him?”
He nodded slowly.
“Who is it? Is that me?” I pointed to the guy next to him on the park bench.
Mallory’s face crumbled and he clung to me and sobbed. It was different from before. Before it sounded angry. Now, it sounded like his entire world had ended and he was left with nothing but an ocean full of sorrow and regret. I didn’t know what to do. So I let him hold onto me and cry until he couldn’t cry any more. By that time I was getting tired.
I yawned. The sun came up sometime while we were sitting there. I needed to sleep, but I didn’t want to. I was afraid of what I would wake up to. Of what I would do before I realized what I was doing.
It scared me.
“Come on. Let’s get you fixed up,” I said and helped him up. He was so weak, his knees buckled. I took his arm and put it over my shoulder and helped him walk over to the couch.
I pulled out the box of syringes and the red plastic thing and the other box full of medicine.
“Jonah, where did you get this?”
“You stole it?”
“No one noticed me. I didn’t want them to, so they didn’t.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“Yeah. Even helped a guy who worked there. No one noticed me take it. I swear.”
“All right.” He didn’t sound so sure but he wasn’t in any position to argue.
“I got what I thought you might need.”
“There’s a lot of medicine here.”
“Yeah,” I said and sat down next to him and watched him fill the syringe up with liquid painkiller.
“Why’d you get so much?”
“Just in case. You know…”
“Mmm…” he said and injected it into his arm in a practiced motion.
“Look, I…I’m sorry. I know that it doesn’t change anything, and it doesn’t make what I did any better, but I really didn’t mean to hurt you like that. Honest. I never,” I sighed. I didn’t have the right words for this. Maybe I never did.
“I know. And I forgive you. I’ll always forgive you.”
He set the syringe and medicine down. He laid down on the couch, his legs draped over mine.
“Because I love you,” he murmured and just like that, he fell asleep.
Shit. I should’ve asked him if he knew what he was doing. It’d suck if he O.D.’d on me. It’d really suck.
I watched him sleep. I tried to stay up as long as I could. I lasted until 10:30 in the morning. The sun was up. I could feel it, like the humidity in a heat wave pressing in on my chest. I let my head loll back on the couch, and closed my eyes. I needed to figure out what the hell we were going to do next. He wouldn’t survive another attack from me. The next one would be worse. And they would continue to get worse until I killed him.
Could I trust myself? Could I trust him to keep me locked up when I needed to be caged like a wild animal?
Don’t know. Not sure.
I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to lose this. I don’t want to forget who I am. Please God, no more. I’d rather just die than slowly lose myself like this. Please, Mallory.
Just let me die.